Drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your health. It’s important to understand the effects of alcohol, especially for individuals who may be drinking too much. Here are some examples of the specific ways alcohol can have a negative impact on your health.
Alcohol-Related Health Conditions
Researchers have linked drinking with numerous health problems, including more than 200 diseases and injury-related conditions. This is true for even mild drinking, studies have shown that even just one drink a day increases the risk of breast cancer in women.
Research has also linked alcohol use to increases in the risk for liver disease, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, depression, stomach bleeding, and cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, larynx, pharynx, liver, colon, and rectum. Heavy drinkers may also have problems managing other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and sleep disorders.
Individuals under the influence of alcohol are also more likely to engage in unsafe sexual behavior, putting themselves and others at risk for sexually transmitted illnesses and unintended pregnancies.
Increased Risk of Injuries
Drinking alcohol increases the risks associated with nearly everything you do, raising the odds that you or someone else could be injured or even killed. According to the National Institutes of Health, Alcohol is a factor in:
- About 60 percent of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides
- About 50 percent of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults
- About 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls
Drinking alcohol makes many situations more dangerous than they would be otherwise.